On Tuesday, 15 retired judges, 77 retired bureaucrats, and 25 retired armed forces officers issued a statement against the two Supreme Court Judges for passing ‘indiscreet remarks’ against ex-BJP Spokesperson Nupur Sharma. The bench led by Justice Surya Kant and Justice Pardiwala, while hearing the petition by Nupur Sharma last week had held her responsible for Kanhaiya Lal’s beheading in Udaipur.
The statement signed by 15 retired judges, 77 retired bureaucrats, and 25 retired armed forces officers called the comments made by SC judges ‘unfortunate and unprecedented’. The list of 117 signatories includes Former Chief Justice Mumbai High Court Kshitij Vyas, Former Rajasthan High Court judges RS Rathore and Prashant Agarwal, Former Judge Delhi MC Garg, Former DGP Jharkhand Nirmal Kaur, Former DGP Manipur Mirnal Kanti Das and Veterans Sanjay Kulkarni, PK Roy, SP Singh and more.
“Unfortunate and unprecedented comments emanating from the two-Judge Bench of the Hon’ble Supreme Court-Justice Surya Kant and Justice J. B. Pardiwala, while being seized of a petition by Nupur Sharma, have sent shockwaves in the country and outside,” the letter said.
Criticising the comments made by the SC judges, the letter read, “By no stretch, these observations, which are not part of the judicial Order, can be sanctified on the plank of judicial propriety and fairness. Such outrageous transgressions are without parallel in the annals of Judiciary.”
The letter also read that observations made by the Supreme Court judges had no jurisprudential connection with the issue raised in the petition, and it transgressed in an unprecedented manner all canons of the dispensation of justice. The letter said Nupur Sharma was defacto denied access to the judiciary, which led to the outrage on the Preamble, spirit and essence of the Constitution of India.
“By such observation perceptionally, there is a virtual exoneration of the dastardliest beheading at Udaipur in broad daylight. The observations also graduate to the most unjustifiable degree that this was ‘only to fan an agenda’, the letter further read.
“In the annals of the judiciary, the unfortunate comments have no parallel and are an indelible scar on the justice system of the largest democracy,” the open letter lambasting the oral observations made by SC judges further added.
The 115 signatories to the letter also commented on the order passed by the Supreme Court denying Nupur Sharma to club the FIRs filed against her. “Hon’ble Supreme Court instead of safeguarding the fundamental right of the Petitioner, refused to take cognizance of the Petition and forced the Petitioner to withdraw the Petition and approach appropriate forum (High Court) knowing fully well that High Court does not have jurisdiction to transfer or club the FIRs/cases registered in other States,” it said.
Retired Delhi HC SN Dhingra criticises SC judges for their oral observations against Nupur Sharma
This comes days after SN Dhingra, retired judge of the Delhi High Court slammed SC judges for passing comments on Nupur Sharma and said that if a judge wants to deliver a speech, he should become a politician. “Supreme Court itself cannot hold anyone guilty without any investigation. The case was put in front of the Supreme Court only for transferring the FIRs and not for proving any charges against her. I don’t understand how the Supreme Court can make such oral observations? If the Supreme Court had guts, it would have given those comments as a part of the written order”, he had added.
He also said that the incident gave a very bad message in the country that ‘the Supreme Court itself is high on the power it has and nobody can stop the Supreme Court from saying anything at its own will’. Also, the Jammu-based human rights forum had written to the CJI seeking withdrawal of the indecent remarks made by Justice Surya Kant and Justice JB Pardiwala.
The forum labelled the remarks made by the judges as unconstitutional and said that the observations made by the Judges would justify the inhuman act undertaken by the murderers of Kanhaiya Lal in Udaipur. Kanhaiya Lal was murdered by two radical Islamists named Riaz and Ghous Mohammed.
The duo disguised as customers and entered the tailoring shop of the deceased. While Kanhaiya Lal was busy taking the cloth measurements, one of the accused attacked him with a long sharp knife. According to the post-mortem report, he was stabbed 26 times on his body from his neck to shoulder. Kanhaiya Lal was killed for uploading a social media post in support of ex-BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma.